World leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are set to attend this weekend’s World Economic Forum (WEF)  in Jordan, which will focus on the key economic challenges faced in the Middle East and North Africa.
The forum, held at the Dead Sea, will address the “clear urgency for decision-makers to deliver development and prosperity ” in the wake of the Arab Spring, according to the organizer and will kick off on Friday afternoon.
The three main objectives of the forum are around partnerships for employment, entrepreneurship and infrastructure; strengthening economic governance; and advancing regional cooperation and resilience.
More than 900 people from over 50 countries will participate, including heads of state and members of government from 22 countries.
The three-day World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will open on Friday, and is held under the theme ‘Advancing Conditions for Growth and Resilience’.
“Building on Jordan’s recognized role in the region, the aim of the 2013 meeting is to drive the dialogue necessary to overcome long-standing fault lines and foster the spirit of cooperation. It is essential that everybody in the greater region realizes the urgent need for collaboration to navigate through these turbulent times,” said Børge Brende, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, in a statement.
The Co-Chairs of the meeting include Mohammed al-Mady, chief executive of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), Ibrahim Dabdoub, chief executive of the National Bank of Kuwait, and Mina Al Oraibi, the assistant editor-in-chief of the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.